Title: Cafe Blue
Author Name: J. Carter Swift
Publication Date & Length: January 31, 2015 – 178pgs
On a rainy night at Café Blue, Ayden Munro meets Nikolai Bortzov, a young Russian caught in a nightmare. Both lives will never be the same. Ayden, a writer, is pulled into the dark world of human trafficking, where teenage boys are bought and sold. Café Blue brings together a cast of saints and demons, and the story these characters interact to tell is a story of love and obsession, a story of perversion and murder. Inventive and intense, the reader is given no quarter as the narrative weaves in and out of heartbreakingly sweet moments, and moments of heart-pounding suspense.
This book is a whirlwind of adventure, romance and horror. After placing any hope of realism firmly to one side, I couldn’t help but enjoy this story of an author and an enslaved prostitute taking on multiple evil bad guys in New York City.
True, the cast of characters is immense, the bad guys are straight from central casting and convoluted sub-plots create incoherent action scenes – but once you get past all of that, it is impossible not to love Ayden and Niko.
On their path to true love and happiness, the boys must overcome slavery, snuff films and a sadistic mute with an enormous penis. After a second read-through, I’m still not sure what exactly happens in the last few chapters of the book, but Swift serves up enough high-camp horror for several novels.
For full enjoyment, this must be read with a sense of humour and a few glasses of wine.
“Why a writer? I should have been a surgeon or a mechanic, for surely a scalpel or wrench couldn’t cause me the anguish words do.”
― J. Carter Swift